Source: Getty Images

The average price of an 800g loaf of sliced white bread has fallen to its lowest since November last year, according to Office of National Statistics (ONS) Retail Price Index figures.

Shoppers paid an average of £1.37 for a loaf of white bread in May, down from the £1.39 recorded the previous month. The last time bread was priced lower than this was in November 2022, when the average was £1.36.

Wholemeal bread has also fallen in price by 2p per loaf, from £1.41 to £1.39, but is still 10p higher than it was in November last year.

The drop in average prices follows a year of almost uninterrupted increases in the face of soaring ingredients and energy costs. Even taking the latest decline into account, white bread is currently 16% higher than it was 12 months ago.

There have been indicators of cost pressures easing in recent months, with a drop in wheat prices. There remains, however, uncertainty over the risk to northern hemisphere crops from unsettled weather and over the future of Black Sea exports.


The lower prices recorded by the ONS may reflect the fact supermarkets have been cutting the price of own-label loaves, with retailers including Asda, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Aldi reducing standard white and wholemeal sliced loaves to 75p.

In May, when it dropped its Soft White Medium, Wholemeal Medium, Wholemeal Thick, and Toastie White loaves from 85p to 75p, Sainsbury’s said this was a reaction to falling commodity prices.

“We have been battling hard to beat inflation and whenever we are paying less for the products we buy from our suppliers, we will pass those savings on to customers,” stated a spokesperson at the time.

Read more: How are Britain’s biggest bakers tackling the cost-of-living crisis?

Bread brands have also reacted to the pressure on shoppers’ budgets, with Hovis last year launching a lower-priced 800g branded white loaf called Simple White. It is currently selling for £1.25 in Tesco.

Jacksons, which produces the premium Jacksons of Yorkshire bloomers, launched the JOY (Jacksons of Yorkshire) Farmhouse range in March this year. “We developed our Farmhouse range to offer those who love our brand the quality and taste they enjoy, but at a lower price,” said Jacksons managing director Owen Elliott.

Last month, British Baker revealed that the cost-of-living crisis had fuelled a resurgence in demand for white sliced bread.

Meanwhile, in contrast to the decline in the average price of wrapped bread, the cost of an unwrapped loaf is continuing to rise, according to the ONS data. An unwrapped 800g white loaf is currently £1.56, up 1p on the previous month, and 27p more than it was in May 2022.